WD & Seagate Hard Drive Warranties Out The Door

Now this was shocking news for Seagate and Western Digital, they have taken a step I wasn’t expecting.

The floods that have taken place in Taiwan has caused a shortage of hard drives across the world, and customers have taken a hit with the price increase, a big one. Now the consumers are taking another hit, and this one is more permanent, these two hard drive manufacturers are cutting back on hard rive warranties, in some instances from five to one. If you buy your hard drive prior to Jan 2 2012 it will retain what ever warranty it has but after that then the hard drive will lose its warranty.

One of the things that I loved about Western Digital is that you could always warranty your hard drive without any issues but this is one bad decision and I really don’t like it. They said they are doing this in order to save money or redirect it to product development, I think its BS.

WD My Book @ 6TB

WD6TB

There are a lot of storage solutions out there, some simple and some complex, the WD My Book line has been very successful for people looking for a home storage solution. I’m more keen to go for something slightly more complex and works on the network but if you need a solution on your desk then this would the way to go. It may not be on the network but its a lot of space and looks good.

WD My Book 6TB with FireWire 800/400, eSATA, and USB 2.0 for connectivity, and it also works with Apple’s Time Machine.

Link: Gizmodo

Western Digital Bought Hitachi Global Storage

Now there are only two major players in the storage market Western Digital & Seagate. Western Digital purchases Hitachi Global Storage for $4.3 Billion. I for one purchase a lot of internal hard drives for my storage needs and I have specific drives that I always get. Usually I always get Western Digital because they have quite drives and an excellent warranty & return policy. I don’t often get hard drives from Seagate because they seem to develop issues over time but surprisingly they have the best external hard drives from my experience, much better then WD. Now Hitachi tackles enterprise level hard drives and some of their drives work very well with storage solutions but they do have an annoying warranty service but I’m hoping with this buyout Western Digital processes will apply to Hitachi. This time around I have purchased the 3TB Drives from Hitachi and looking forward to seeing them in action.

Link: MSWHS

Western Digital Livewire

Internet throughout the house, thats one of the biggest annoyances people have when at home. You are usually stuck where the router is, and that is probably where you have the most powerful signal. In my case I went to an insane extent to wire up different rooms throughout the house so I can spread the wireless signal coverage. Most cases your stuck with the wireless signal you have, but in this case you have powerline networking. I have always been a bit skeptical about this technology, it usually doesn’t produce that speeds that I am looking for and I’m always thinking that it just won’t do. But there have been a lot of successful kits and this is just the latest development. If you are having internet coverage problems and putting ethernet cables through what little space you have in your walls is not possible then the WD Livewire Powerline Networking Kit is your best option.

There are drawbacks with powerline networking but it’s a simple solid solution when don’t have a wired option. You have four ports with the WD Livewire, the throughput is around 200MB/s which your machines will interpret as 100 MB/s since it’s not a Gigabit connection which is 1000MB/s. Sometimes with sound there is interference but if you need to this get your network where you need it to go. You would have to buy it from Amazon UK to get the right plug with it, but you can change it you buy it from the US as well.

Check out the Review at WeGotServed.com
Link: Amazon

Western Digital Velociraptor 600 GB Sata III

At long last I have the beast within my grasp! The Velociraptor 600 GB Sata III, I have heard the rumors of its capabilities but its different when its in your hands. When you want a fast hard drive and its not an SSD then your option is the Velociraptor line from WD. I remember their 150 GB and 300 GB drives but this is the new iteration, I preordered the 600 GB Velociraptor to build with a system later this year but here it is in all its glory. Its laying in a box next to two RMAed Hitachi 2 TB drives, Velociraptor sits among them as the pride of the pack.

The Velociraptor is a high speed and high performance drive with Sata III with a 6 GB/s communication interface, but the motherboard has to have the equivalent Sata III connection on the board. In my case I do have a board with two Sata III connection which will help me take advantage of these ridiculous speeds. If you are looking for a solid high performance drive then you can’t go wrong with the Western Digital Velociraptor, it comes in 400 GB and 600 GB.


Continue reading…

Storage – 2TB Madness


At some point I think we have gone overboard with the amount of space we are consuming, but the best part is space keeps getting cheaper. There is about 24 TB sitting on the table destined for two servers, for K’s & myself monstrous server that we are building. This time its a server with a 20 HD slot WHS so it can be maxed out 40 TB and my current solution is running with 22.1 TB, so the numbers keep jumping up. The only large storage I trust is Western Digital Caviar’s, the Green are great for lower power consumption and lower heat, heat is very important because it affects the life of the hard drive and with that many in the same proximity that is a lot of heat.


Continue reading…

The Graveyard

I have been through a lot of external hard drives, mostly because people ask me to fix them or recover data when they are broken. Or when they are asking for media, tv shows, anime, or movies. I have had some experience with some of these drives and after all the failures I have suffered with externals, I have come to the conclusion about a few drives. Never buy generic drives such as simpltech because you don’t know what your getting on the inside, and I have never had a healthy Maxtor External drive, for some reason they always act up and a majority of Western Digital externals have had issues. Its either the ones that come to Kuwait have issues, they a little too many bumps on the way, or its just been bad luck. Overall I know which external is my favorite and those are the Seagate external drives. Those are just excellent drives and out at least 10 only one was has failed, compared to the others its extremely better. And these drives in the pile up around going out to pasture, I have dissected a few to see what makes them tick and what make them fail and its always fun taking things apart when you don’t have to put them back together.

The Pileup

  • Simpltech x2 – 160 GB- Lasted One Day
  • Maxtor – 160 GB – Lasted a month
  • WD – 320 GB – Last one week
  • Seagate – 160 GB – Lasted Four Years

Western Digital HD Media Player

I know that people are usually looking for a media player to play their shows on and something that plays different kinds of media and something simple. Other then building your own media PC this is the best and simplest player I have seen around, 1080p without a hitch, doesn’t matter if its an External HD which is Mac formatted or PC formatted but this is your best bet and very simple to operate. Just attached the external drive with all the shows and movie, choose what you want and enjoy.

  • Thumbnail and list views – Browse your content by filename or by thumbnails of photos, album covers and movie cover art.
  • Media Library – This unique feature lets you view all your media by media type in one menu regardless of its location in folders or drives. You can view content by categories such as genre, album, artist and date. / Search – Search by genre, title, artist, filename and partial filename
  • Create custom slide shows with a variety of transitions and background music
  • Movie viewing – Fast forward, rewind, pause, zoom, and pan; View subtitles – Search by filename, partial filename, most recently viewed and date
  • Music – Fast forward, rewind, pause, shuffle, repeat; Supported USB Device file systems: FAT-32, NTFS, HFS+ (no journaling)

File Formats Supported

  • Music – MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV/PCM/LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIF/AIFF, MKA
  • Graphics – JPEG, GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG
  • Video -MPEG1/2/4, WMV9, AVI (MPEG4, Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, MOV (MPEG4, H.264)
  • Playlist – PLS, M3U, WPL Subtitle -SRT (UTF-8)

Note:

  • MPEG2/4, H.264, and WMV9 supports up to 1920x1080p 24fps, 1920x1080i 30fps, 1280x720p 60fps resolution.
  • An audio receiver is required for surround sound output.
  • AAC/Dolby Digital decodes in 2 channel output only.
  • JPEG does not support CMYK or lossless.
  • BMP supports uncompressed format only.
  • TIF/TIFF supports single layer only.

Price: $110
Link: Amazon

WHS Hazmat Upgrade (7.5 TB to 11.14 TB)

This is the Windows Home Server (Hazmat) sitting next to my 24U Rack which houses the Netgear 24 Port Gigabit Switch, ReadyNAS 1100, UPS, Access Point, and soon to be rack mount server. Sitting next to the big Lian Li case is the eSata attached Storage Tower, which takes up only two eSata ports on the PCI-X card, which has two more eSata ports for later expansion if I wanted to add another Storage Tower.

I have been dumping more and more data into my second WHS Server, Hazmat, for a while now. I had about 7.5 TB of space available without duplication, and after a couple of months I have reach 94% of the capacity and I didn’t want any of the files being stored on the OS drive, and I haven’t even switched on duplication for the files which makes the total space needed about 15 TB. I took snap shots of the WHS Console, and by clicking on the smaller images you get the larger images to see all the details.

Luckily I ordered a couple of 2 TB drives to bump up the amount of space by about 6 TB, so to about 14 TBs which would be the equivalent of 12.9 TB of logical data. The setup I have is pretty simple, I have one backplane in the Lian Li case which I plan increasing once I cannibalize the old WHS server which has two extra backplanes fill with 1 TB drives, which adds up to another 10TB worth of space. Instead of plugging in more backplanes I decided to take advantage of the PCI-X slot in the mother board, so I plugged in an eSata controller to integrate the 8-HDD Raid Tower which housed all the other disks. You can even tell the ones that are mounted by the Disk Management screen on the Console where the drive temperatures that can’t be read, and say “n/a”.

Continue reading…

Barracude Problems… Seagate to be exact

seagatebarracuda

I am running two servers, a few NAS devices, and a few computer. Each running at 3 hard drives up to 18 hard drives. Between all these machine I have installed a lot of hard drives, and some are running 24/7 months on end and only a restart to refresh the machines but other then that they rarely receive a break from their duties.

My ranking for drives from experience are in this order:

  • Western Digital
  • Maxtor (Bought out by Seagate)
  • Seagate

I have been reluctant to upgrade some of the drives to 1.5TB from Seagate due to technical issues that have been faced by these drives. They have even been bricked from recent firmware upgrades, I tried one 1.5TB drive and it kept locking up in the Windows Home Server, I unloaded it and tried it on another machine and I still faced problems with it, I returned to Hawalli for a refund and took the WD 1TB Green Drive, which works perfectly. I have had a few failures on the machines and the majority have been the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drives, luckily I keep the receipts and take them back to the Hawalli store and ask for an exchange for another brand. So after the last couple of years I am sticking to Western Digital drives when ever possible. Its not that drives don’t fail, they will eventually fail but the rate at which they fail is important. It seems Seagate’s track record isn’t looking too good for sometime now.